2012-01-19 / Letters

Chinese Exports Destructive To America

To The Editor:

Yep. I’ll own up to it. I do like the good stuff. It always seemed to me that the cheap stuff didn’t last anywhere near as long and was far more likely to come apart at the worst possible time. I suppose I learned that in the service and 15 years at the helm of a towboat. A cheap anchor line in heavy seas wouldn’t have given me a case of the “warm and fuzzies” for instance.

I didn’t get what I wanted for Christmas so, I decided that since at least I thought I had been a good boy last year, I was going to treat myself. I had been hankering for another one of the finest shirts I had ever owned. After stumbling around on the Internet for a spell, there it was, just exactly like I remembered. Naturally, it was way more expensive than I remembered but then again, the last time I had one, I could fill up an empty 15-gallon tank for about 10 bucks. Even so, I wanted that shirt. You know how it is.

About five business days later, the nice man in the brown truck stuck it inside the storm door. The sturdy box and wrapping were soon torn asunder and it was mine. It’s heavy, it’s tough, and it’s ready for the worst I can dish out.

I don’t suppose I can get away with telling you the brand name but (ahem), it hails from somewhere around Woolrich, Pa. That being the case, it brings on mental images of pioneers chopping wood, building log cabins and clearing the land by hand and so on. That is until one takes a close look at the little tag inside the collar that reads “Made in China.”

My heart sank. Those three words drained the Americana from that shirt just as if the dye was running off in the rain. I’m a little less proud. It’s worth a little less, and I’m sure I’ll find where some underpaid sweatshop subject of the regime took a shortcut. How bad have things become when that fine, old American manufacturer has to have that fine, old American product made in stinkin’ China?

As you might have guessed, there is a political subtext to this little story. If you think it might have something to do with overreaching unions, taxes, government regulation to the point of lunacy, and just plain spit-in-youreye cheating by the Chinese ... you’d be right smack on the money.

We all know it doesn’t have to be this way. We all know what happened to a considerable percentage of American jobs. And we all should know that this is another flashing sign on the road going in the wrong direction.

Bill Watson

Hustontown

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